As many of us know, Lyme disease identified and treated early means a quick road to health.
Left to invade the body deeply over time, Lyme and other tick-borne infections can be disabling—and even fatal. Treatment in those cases can be a long, expensive, and rocky road.
I should have been on the shortest path. I was treated based on a tick embedded in my hip, a rash, flu-like symptoms, and severe pain all over my body.
But when my test came back negative, my practitioner stopped the month of antibiotics that would have saved me from a nightmare that has been going on for three years now.
On Tuesday, members on the House side of Virginia’s General Assembly voted on a bill requiring doctors to tell patients that Lyme testing is inaccurate. So when I had the chance to join fellow Lyme advocates in Richmond the day before and help inform delegates, I grabbed my cane and pain medication and climbed carefully into a friend’s van.
Did you hear whoops of excitement from Virginia this week?
A history-making bill (SB971) that would require doctors to inform patients of the inaccuracy of Lyme testing is under consideration right now in my great state. I would have traveled to Richmond to support the bill in person, if I weren’t so ill with lyme myself.
Above is a video from YouTube of the January 29 debate in the state Senate earlier this week. If you are aren’t a hearing junkie, scan for the opposition’s argument, and fast-forward to these sections for compelling highlights:
[15:15] Senator Richard H. Black, who introduced this bill. When asked if consideration has been made as to how the bill could intrude on patient/physician relationships (many doctors oppose the bill), Senator Black replies respectfully, “I have tremendous faith in our physicians and I believe in their ability to do their jobs. I feel like in this particular area [Lyme disease] that this is a measure that would be of assistance and I think that it is something we owe to the people in the vast areas of Virginia that are afflicted by this.”
The Senator then cites incidence charts [21:15] and says that while his district is ground zero for Lyme in Virginia, other areas also have a very high incidence.